’Tis the season to get engaged… and to prep your wedding business for a HUGE influx of inquiries! I’m celebrating 1 year of being engaged to my fiancé this month, so we were part of that wedding rush last year. We had to find the right venue, photographer, and more before the best options were booked. As a 2022 bride, I know all too well how busy this next year will be for the wedding industry. That’s why I put this website checklist together to help you set yourself up for success!
We all know wedding planning is crazy and there’s a reason why couples hire wedding planners. As a bit of a Type A bride who’s worked in events, I was more than prepared to spend personal time researching vendors and, living in Portland, Oregon, there was no shortage of options.
What I wasn’t prepared for was just how many websites I would spend my time looking at, and how hard it would be to get the information I needed about vendors in order to make informed decisions. Just to curate a list of vendor options in my budget, it would take hours to get information on pricing, package details, and personality, and I found that I was often wasting my time getting on calls with vendors who just weren’t a great match for our plans.
My goal is to help your business’s branding and website succeed, and to save you time so you can still have time for yourself even in the busiest wedding year. You can start by implementing these key details today to get your business on the right track and get ready to turn all those inquiries into 2022 and 2023 clients!
Many engaged couples – especially those without a full-service planner or parents’ help – are planning their weddings on-the-go, during lunch breaks, and more. Your website should be easy to read and navigate on mobile otherwise couples will leave before even taking a look at your offerings.
You would probably be surprised by how many vendors don’t do this! I specifically remember sitting in the car, on the way to a venue tour with my fiancé, and looking for photographers on my phone. A couple photographers didn’t have a mobile friendly contact form or a linkable email address on their site. In the moment, it seemed like too much work to copy and paste email addresses into my email app to ask photographers about their packages. Admittedly, I never returned to their websites and moved on to looking at other options when we got home. Increase your inquiries by making it easy for couples to email or call you directly (up to your preference of how you wish to be contacted).
Weddings are a very personal business, and couples and decision makers want to see exactly who they’ll be working with. This is even more true if you’re a solopreneur. It’s vital to make it evident who that person is. This can show up on your Contact page, About page, or both. You don’t have to share your whole life story, but you should have at least 1-2 clear photos, and a bit of information about your motivations for starting your business, your experience, and what sets you apart from other vendors.
The easiest answer is: post all your pricing and packages (i.e. $4,500 for 9 hours of photography and a wedding album). But, I understand the need to customize a package to your clients that fits their wedding location, time of the year, wedding size, and specific wants/needs. To save yourself some time, post at least a range of your services so that couples know whether they should reach out to you at all (instead of $4,500 for a detailed package, you could state that your packages range from $3,500 – $6,000).
If a range still feels uncomfortable, I would recommend posting at least one number – your lowest package, but indicate that all your services go up from there. If your lowest option is still too expensive for a couple, they won’t reach out, and you’ll both save precious time. That way, you’re more likely to avoid red flag clients who try to talk you down in your pricing. Are your services more affordable in the off-season or on Fridays/Sundays? What is your busy season (we found this ranged from April-November, solely dependent on the vendor)? This will help clients who already have a date get a better idea of your pricing. We ended up booking a call with our videographer because his package price for 10 hours of film and inclusion of a drone was clear on his website, whereas other videographers required us to reach out and book a call before we could get any idea about the investment.
This one sounds really simple, and it is, yet a lot of vendors tend to miss this. On your About or Pricing page, describe to couples what your packages include, including number of hours (if applicable), add-ons, and whether you bring an assistant. If you’re a venue, include your catering minimum or whether you allow outside catering, as well as small but additional charges that add up – like a bartender, napkins, tablecloths, additional hours, and more. Bonus points if you include the pricing of this on your website, because your couples will have the information they need prior to your call/tour, and you can both focus on whether you’re a good personality fit.
This one isn’t necessary, but it’s a tip that will save you even more time and help you attract the right clients. My fiancé and I came across one venue – a dream venue – that had this calendar. Unfortunately, we wanted to book a 2022 summer Saturday and their only available Saturdays were the 4th of July and my birthday, so we didn’t reach out. But, we appreciated the ease and were glad that we didn’t get our hopes up about an amazing venue that just didn’t work with our schedule.
Couples will appreciate your transparency and this also creates a sense of non-salesy urgency to reach out when they notice that your dates are quickly filling up. I know that work/life balance and setting boundaries as a business owner have especially been hard in 2020 and 2021, but these tips will help you save at least some time for the aspects of your business that you enjoy more.
Do you feel disappointed in your current website design, or feel like these tips are too overwhelming to implement? Reach out and we can talk about a plan to get your website redesign done.
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Copyright Emily Foster Creative, LLC. 2022 - 2023. All rights reserved.
Brand photography by Enliven Photography except where otherwise credited.
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